Bill Piyatut: "And it begins..."
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Although Tales of the Forgotten is a fairly new concept I would argue that it’s inception dates back to when I met Dylan.
We’ve been friends for over 3 years. Seriously great friends. We are in the same major at school and in our freshman days we would eat together everyday, every meal, and would endlessly talk about music. We even shared downtime together where we would play League of Legends, Smash bros, Mario Kart, really anything we loved doing we loved doing together.
We hang out a lot.
But the one thing that was always bugging me was that even though we have the same taste in music we never actually wrote anything together. So finally around last year we haphazardly collaborated on a musical score that unfortunately didn’t end up so well…
Part of our initial failure was because of our busy schedules which didn’t allow time for “fun” projects, but also we didn’t have any reason for what we were writing. We literally had no future goals in mind. So while there were actually some good music written there was no meaning behind it for either of us.
So a year passes and i'm sitting in my room, eating hot fries, cleaning up my hard drive space, and I happened to stumble upon the project file of the track we had written together. So i’m sitting there staring at this file, the file staring at me, and it was just calling my name. There was this overwhelming sense of nostalgia for this unfinished project. The “what ifs”, the “could haves”, the “should haves” all rang in my head as a chorus that was urging me to come back again.
So i did.
My jaw drops.
I immediately call dylan before it even ends.
“We need to start this project back up. We need to finish this track”
Dylan came over to my studio (aka. a messy apartment) and we worked on it a until late at night.
While listened to it one more time before going to bed and I said
“I’m kind of imagining a lonely robot in the middle of a post apocalyptic world here.”
Dylan crooks his head and replies “Uh…. you mean Wall-E...?”
I laughed and said “That’s exactly what the description implies but no! not Wall-E. I have this picture in my head of this robot guy who’s excluded from society and doesn’t fit in. But it’s more complex than that. It’s the depth of his relationship they can have with mankind and the world.”
I had a lot of questions about the usual robot narratives: Why can’t we make robots who aren’t so logical and cruel to humans? Why can’t robots think and feel like humans too? But most importantly in a cliche war between humans and robots, why can’t there be robots who dissent from the opinion that there needs to be a war. What if there were robots who found themselves caught in the middle of this conflict rather than on one side or the other?
After that day, I kept wondering and thinking what would be the best way to really convey this scenery that I have in my head to the audience?
A few days later I played a show at a local bar here in Cincinnati. Since Dylan is such an awesome friend (and since i’m so awesome myself) he came to see me play. After the show we were mildly tipsy and I started talking about the project. I honestly couldn’t get my mind off of it.
“What if we do a concept album of that lonely robot idea I had? The concept could give the music a really intensive narrative. Maybe call it Tales of the Forgotten Machines or something?”
“That’s a lame name” said Dylan.
“And what if we find a way to convey the story to the audience so they know exactly what the piece is about?”
“How are we gonna do that? You wanna write a book about it?” He said reluctantly.
“Actually,” I said immediately, “that’s not a bad idea at all.”
“So an album with a short novel and maybe some artwork in it. Let’s do this...wait do you realize how much time that would take? That would cost so much money! Do you even realize how huge of a project that is!?”
Actually, I think Dylan didn’t say those exact words, but it was generally along the lines of saying that the project was impossible. So I worked my Bill P. magic on him and slowly convinced him that there’s nothing impossible with the project even though, unbeknownst to him, I had no real idea how to even achieve this huge goal. I mean seriously, this takes more than just two music composers. It requires an entire team to do this. Musicians, illustrators, writers….
Needless to say Dylan agreed but only under one condition: We cut out “machines” from the name.
We settled on Tales of the Forgotten, arguable the less nerdy version, and started rounding up a team.